Crankworx Rotorua 2016 Deep Summer Photo Epic

The Deep Summer Photo Challenge dropped into Crankworx Rotorua for the first time in 2016, making the most of the cultural and geothermal hotbed of New Zealand. With incredible natural landscapes and an extremely strong mountain biking culture, the invited photographers found everything they needed to compose a stellar slideshow.

Casey Brown at the whip-offs.
Casey Brown at the whip-offs.

Over the course of the challenge, five mountain bike photographers had three days to put together an epic slideshow. Slideshow presentations then lit up the evening at Rotorua Skyline Gravity Park after the Crankworx Slopestyle Finals – and a massive crowd was able to experience deep summer in Rotorua through five different lenses.

The EWS returns to Crankworx Rotorua after a one year hiatus- it's all happening!
The EWS returns to Crankworx Rotorua this year after a one year hiatus- it’s all happening!

Deep Summer returns to Rotorua in 2017 with new photographers and a new location, and we can’t wait to witness it live in just a few weeks time- hopefully you’ll be there too! In the meantime, grab yourself a brew, pop the quality onto 1080 and check out all the action from last year!


Deep Summer Rotorua 2016 Simeon Patience:

Simeon Patience took the win at the Crankworx Rotorua Deep Summer Challenge, and it’s not hard to see why with his amazing blend of Rotorua’s unique landscape coupled with stellar looking trails.


Deep Summer Rotorua 2016 Sean Lee:

Australian Sean Lee is a name to watch out for in the future. For last year’s Deep Summer Challenge he teamed up with the Australian contingent of the Vanzacs crew.

Sean took out the people’s choice award, and it’s not hard to see why with his brilliant work showcasing all that Rotorua has to offer, from natural, technical trails, to carpet smooth jump lines. If you don’t have time to watch the full video, skip straight to four minutes for some pure magic.


Deep Summer Rotorua 2016 Zach Faulkner:

Zach Faulkner’s entry really focuses on the Rotorua community, and how the mountain biking lifestyle just plain fits with everyday life in this beautiful part of the world. It’s not all about the gnarliest lines and biggest jumps, it’s about having a good time on awesome trails with your mates.


Deep Summer Rotorua 2016 Callum Wood:

Callum Wood’s entry really showcases the talent that is on show at Crankworx Rotorua. It’s one of the things we love so much about the event, being able to go for a ride in the morning, and watch the world’s best riders do their thing with a beer in hand for the rest of the afternoon.

Crankworx Rotorua is just a few short weeks away, and to find out more about how you can join us there, head over to the Crankworx Rotorua website.

The Six Finalist Videos From Crankworx 2015 Deep Summer

As spectators from afar and lovers of mountain bike photography, our favourite event of Crankworx Whistler is the Deep Summer Photo Challenge.

Each year, six photographers are selected to undertake the challenge. In 72 hours with a team of riders they must come up with a slideshow of photographs, here are all the six entries for 2015.

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2015 Deep Summer Winner – Sam Needham ‘Life is a Journey’

 


Gary Perkin ‘The Ways Of Man’.


Grant Robinson ‘Ride For Your Life’


Ryan Worcester – The Illusion vs. The Experience


Laurence Crossman-Emms


Tim Koerber


 

Highlights from the night at Crankworx.

Video: Between The Eyes: Jordan Manley’s #dailywalk

Between The Eyes: Jordan Manley’s #dailywalk from 2FLAT on Vimeo.

In November, 2012, Jordan Manley, a very well respected action sport photographer and filmmaker, suffered a concussion that severely changed his life. The concussion was such that Jordan was unable to perform even quite simple tasks without triggering his symptoms. Recovery for this kind of injury, which is effectively brain damage, means resting the brain as if it were any other part of the body. For Jordan, this meant losing the ability to exercise not just physically but mentally. All he could do was take one short walk a day. As time went on he began taking his iPhone and captured some of the remarkable things he saw on his strolls and then uploaded them to Instagram. #dailywalk became Jordan’s way of providing an outlet for his boisterous creativity and a way of communicating with the world about the symptoms of his concussion, the inner working of the brain and the emotions of dealing with his recovery. Taking these photos became his therapy and provided him with a form of solace while he went through a very foreign and daunting time. It’s also fair to say that very few people could create such a stunning portfolio of images using just an iPhone.

‘The best camera is the one in your pocket’, is the rebel yell against the tutting and head-shaking condescension of those within the creative ruling class who worry that imagery will lose its power to deceive, to mystify, to teach, to fascinate, and coerce if our minds become saturated by a barrage of Everyman images. Some worry that modern mediums, like the iPhone and Instagram, will dissolve all message, but as Jordan Manley’s images demonstrate – all of which were captured on an iPhone and using a few simple apps and a geologists magnifying glass – a truly creative person doesn’t mistake the means for the ends.

At the time this video was released Jordan was still suffering from symptoms after a small setback to his recovery.

Thanks and best wishes to Jordan Manley (jordanmanley.com). His work as a filmmaker and photographer even before his injury is partly what inspires and informs my own work.

Video: Between The Eyes: Jordan Manley's #dailywalk

Between The Eyes: Jordan Manley’s #dailywalk from 2FLAT on Vimeo.

In November, 2012, Jordan Manley, a very well respected action sport photographer and filmmaker, suffered a concussion that severely changed his life. The concussion was such that Jordan was unable to perform even quite simple tasks without triggering his symptoms. Recovery for this kind of injury, which is effectively brain damage, means resting the brain as if it were any other part of the body. For Jordan, this meant losing the ability to exercise not just physically but mentally. All he could do was take one short walk a day. As time went on he began taking his iPhone and captured some of the remarkable things he saw on his strolls and then uploaded them to Instagram. #dailywalk became Jordan’s way of providing an outlet for his boisterous creativity and a way of communicating with the world about the symptoms of his concussion, the inner working of the brain and the emotions of dealing with his recovery. Taking these photos became his therapy and provided him with a form of solace while he went through a very foreign and daunting time. It’s also fair to say that very few people could create such a stunning portfolio of images using just an iPhone.

‘The best camera is the one in your pocket’, is the rebel yell against the tutting and head-shaking condescension of those within the creative ruling class who worry that imagery will lose its power to deceive, to mystify, to teach, to fascinate, and coerce if our minds become saturated by a barrage of Everyman images. Some worry that modern mediums, like the iPhone and Instagram, will dissolve all message, but as Jordan Manley’s images demonstrate – all of which were captured on an iPhone and using a few simple apps and a geologists magnifying glass – a truly creative person doesn’t mistake the means for the ends.

At the time this video was released Jordan was still suffering from symptoms after a small setback to his recovery.

Thanks and best wishes to Jordan Manley (jordanmanley.com). His work as a filmmaker and photographer even before his injury is partly what inspires and informs my own work.

Photo Feature: Steamboat Springs – Bike Town USA

I can recall it vividly; I was having lunch with a sales rep in Park City, Utah and he was describing his sales route. A dream job of frequently travelling to some of the best riding locations in the USA – from Moab in Utah, across the western Rockies and all the way up to Idaho and Wyoming. I asked where he might go for a week of riding, if he had to choose, and rather than spitting out the obvious, he started to talk about Steamboat. I was instantly hooked because of his description of the town, not just the trails.

I love a town that embraces bikes and loves bikes and biker riders as much as me. There have been times where I have ridden some amazing trails but then left a little short of that “feeling” at the end of the day when I returned to town. Like there was always a sense of warmth and genuineness missing. Steamboat, my sales rep friend detailed, was a place that makes you feel at home on a bike, a town that lives for it, and a town that wants bikes to be number one. I was heading there.

And he was right. Steamboat Springs, Colorado is that perfect bike town, and it’s funny as that’s what they call it too. Welcome to Bike Town USA.

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The drive across from Utah to Colorado was lots of this. Steamboat Springs here I come. I have to admit that I am in love with mountain biking in the USA and the driving with epic scenery is part of what makes it special.
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Steamboat Springs is a ski town but come summertime, it is taken over by bikes and people having fun in the rivers. Orange Peel is one local bike shop that’s worth the visit – it happens to be right next to the river.

“Bike Town USA” Initiative is a community movement with a vision for Steamboat: The Ultimate Destination For Cycling Experiences. Chatting with the local community revealed a crew who are passionate about their very ambitious goals of improving safety, building the community, and providing economic development through cycling.

Initiatives and ideas like this do take more than human spirit and the “Bike Town USA” group was lobbying to divert hotel tax revenue into cycling infrastructure, facilities and programs. As you can imagine, diverting such large amounts of money into bicycling would be a hot issue in any community with other user groups also wanting the same resources. It’s such a hot topic in fact that the community is voting on the proposal this month.

Removing myself from the politics of the moment, my personal experience from spending a week in Steamboat showed that even at this early stage, the ideas and the community feel are already working. With over 500 miles of trails in the area, a lifted gravity park, a thriving local cycling industry including being the home of Moots and Stinger, and just a sense of mountain biking being front and centre.

Steamboat Springs has to be one of only a handful of mountain bike destinations in the world where you feel at home and welcomed from the moment you arrive. Although it is a long way from Australia I highly recommend that you add this town, and this experience, to your wish list. It’s not very often that as a mountain biker you are welcomed into a community with such open arms.

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My first ride included waking before the sun came up and getting to the top of the mountains for first light. The mountains surrounding Steamboat Spinrgs aren’t the massive epic ones you might expect in Colorado so climbing to the top is more a like a couple of hours, rather than half the day.
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Green is not a common colour for most of my riding so it took a little while for my eyes to adjust. Getting access to land and building trails isn’t at all straight forward but complex land swaps and other deals have opened up even more trails for mountain biking.
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Emerald Mountain Trails are the closest trails to the township and offer anything from a quick hit out to all-day epics when connected with other trail networks. Access to the trailhead was a few minute’s ride from my hotel, and conveniently there were plenty of pubs on the way back. Perfect.
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I have an unfounded fear of being attacked by a mountain lion when I am riding but the statistics are by far in my favour. Yep they’re out there watching me as I ride, but I am more likely to be attacked and killed by a bee than one of these. You may see the posted signs but there’s really no need to stress.
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The Aspen forests are a dream to ride in and endless trails let you explore and be one with nature.
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Trails don’t just appear like magic and there is a dedicated crew of locals who sacrifice their own time to play their little part in the vision of Steamboat Springs. On one of my rides I just happened to come across two of Steamboat’s best, Marc and Gretchen. Ski Instructors in the winter and mountain bike riders and builders in the summer.
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This was one of my favourite trails on Emerald Mountain. Who knows what is was called though as it was part of a great network of trails from the top of the ridge line, all the way back into town.  It must have been over 5km of descending and a more than worthy reward for the climb.

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A short drive from Steamboat was the Rotary Trails. Exposed, very flowy, and a little different, but it’s that diversity that makes any destination more appealing.

 

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Some flowers for the flower lovers.

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Myself and Doug Davis on the way up to Rabbit Ears Pass. It got really steep at the end but the breath-taking views were more than worth it. If you consider the diversity of mountain biking available in Steamboat there aren’t many bases not covered.
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I saw a moose on the trails. I saw a moose the trails.

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My silly fear of mountain lions and this is the only thing that attacked me. Kinda felt a little let down.
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Bike Town USA Director, Doug Davis took me riding a few times as we explored his favourite trails.

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The Steamboat Ski resort turns into a lifted gravity orientated bike park in the summer months. It’s still in its infancy as a developing location, nut already they had completed building some amazing trails with the Whistler Gravity Logic team. More work is always planned and the resort wanted to keep showing me more but I was just happy doing run, after run, after run, after run.
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On the way back from a soak in Strawberry Springs. Life was tough for the week or so I was there.
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I did journey a little down the famous Continental Divide Trail but snow got in the way of that adventure. If you ever visit, make sure you do it in the height of summer and get a shuttle to ride one apparently amazing trail back to town.
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It’s the little things that count. Beer, small animals that don’t attack, discovering that these were dog prints, and a random hood ornament.
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The locals really make Steamboat Springs what it is and I cannot thank them enough for showing me the trails and guiding me to the best places to eat and drink.

Video: Sven Martin Shoots Crankworx // A How To

This feature takes us behind the scenes with Sven Martin, one of the most recognized downhill dirt shooters at the world’s premiere mountain bike festival, Crankworx.

This week-long biking event in Whistler BC, attracts the world’s top riders from every event, including downhill, cross country and slopestyle, just to name a few. With over 25 thousand spectators, it’s become the largest mountain bike festival ever.

The high speed action makes it extremely challenging to capture through photography and video. Those who are aren’t prepped and ready will miss the shot. The combination of the event’s high-paced action, and difficult to access locations only adds to the intensity. Needless to say, Sven has mastered this process, making it look easy. Press play to catch the chaos and see him in action, doing what he does best.

Sven Martin Shoots Crankworx // A How To from f-stop || Gear on Vimeo.

Photo Feature: Oregon

As a photographer I take a hell of a lot of photos and most of them don’t see the light of day. I send vast selections of photos off to editors and months later they choose just a small amount – and even then, most end up as tiny little photos on a lonely piece of paper that people breeze by.

So rather than the photos dying a digital death I am going to regularly put a few together for the Flow readers.  Maybe it will inspire you to take more photos, or maybe it will inspire you to ride and travel more.  Either way, I hope it inspires you in some way.

As the resident photo geek at Flow, if at anytime you have questions about mountain bike photography feel free to hit me up at [email protected]

These are a few leftovers from a trip to Oregon, Washington (USA).  It was an amazing place and the few days I had was never going to be enough.  This trip was rushed and the hardest thing with most road trips is finding the balance between riding, driving and shooting.  With so many places to ride and see I did end up wasting too much time on the road.  Still, I loved it.

I drove a very long way to get to Oregon but lucky the highways of the USA make life so much easier.
That’s no to say my journey wasn’t interrupted though. I was sure she was going to let me off with a warning as I broke out the heavy Aussie accent. Didn’t work.
The mountains were spectacular, but don’t ask me to name all of them as I was constantly confused as to which was which.
This was in Hood River.  Not being a local is great as every trail is new and exciting.  This trail in particular grabbed my attention for a photo as it draws a perfect line between the chaos and peace.
Still in Hood River I was setting up a shot that I spotted the day before.  Yep, I was shooting selfies however I wasn’t alone, I had beers and friends with me.
Being so dry where I live any chance I get to shoot water I grab.  I had a big fall down a cliff here trying to find a spot to also get a rider in the shot.  Sometimes things just don’t work out and I was more than happy I walked away with some scratches.
There was just so much to see and ride and the balance riding and shooting is always hard.
If you look closely by back/shoulder are covered in dust.  That’s not from crashing, it’s from trying to set-up the camera on the ground.
The colour green is also something rare from where I’m from, but in Oregon it’s everywhere.
This is near Bend, Oregon.  A legendary place to ride however I was just breezing through and didn’t get the bike out.  Sometimes you have to leave things for the future.
Long rides and long days deserve rewards.  When I am shooting on these adventures I carry a heavy pack when shooting and ofter 6 hours of riding I was very stuffed… and thirsty.